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Where Have All the Proportionalists Gone?

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Interest in proportionalism as an important trend in Catholic moral theology seems to have faded in the recent decade. This has led some to view it as a movement that was somehow defeated. I suggest that proportionalism’s influence can still be seen in contemporary Catholic ethics, most noticeably in the current interest in virtue ethics, casuistry, and feminist ethics. I argue that proportionalism encouraged a reappraisal of the methodology for evaluating moral action in a direction that was more hospitable to concerns about the particularity and context of the agent.

Keywords: Catholic Church; Richard McCormick; moral norms; moral theology; proportionalism; revisionists

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9795.00096

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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